Department of Science Education

Irene Slater

The Science Education faculty continue to set the standard for creating innovative, rigorous science learning environments for Chico State students. This spring, the Chico Rotary Club honored Professor Irene Salter with their Educator of the Year Award!

Salter was recognized for collaborating with another Science Education professor, Leslie Atkins, PhD, to develop courses in which future teachers build scientific knowledge in the same way scientists do—through asking questions, experimentation, observation, and collaboration. It is an impressive sight to see their students, previously filled with anxiety about science, engaging in genuine scientific debate not unlike veteran scientists.

Salter is a committed and caring teacher who signs her emails with this quote from Albert Einstein, “I never teach my pupils; I only attempt to provide the conditions in which they can learn.” And it’s abundantly clear that her students are learning—a lot. Students rave about their experiences, with comments such as, “I feel like I’m finally learning the science I’ve been supposed to be learning my whole life!” and “This class was not like any other science class I have ever taken before. I learned to actually think like a scientist.”                  

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